From Albany: Infrastructure Campaign, Fair Housing

  New York State is partnering with nonprofit organizations to deploy undercover testers across the state to root out discrimination in home rental and sale transactions.

The program will be administered by New York State Homes and Community Renewal and will allow nonprofit housing agencies to dispatch trained fair-housing “testers” to act as potential renters or home seekers to uncover unlawful discriminatory treatment by sellers, brokers and landlords.  Six nonprofit organizations will conduct testing in New York City, Long Island, Westchester County and the Central New York and Western New York regions.

The governor also announced that new regulations concerning real estate appraisers, to help combat housing discrimination, will take effect on March 17. The new regulations will require licensed and certified appraisers to receive training on fair housing and fair lending as part of their continuing education requirements. The regulation is available here.

Rebuilding Campaign

Rebuild NY Now, a coalition of construction and business groups, launched the “New York Knows How to Rebuild” campaign this week to advocate for more funding for local road and bridges  in this year’s State budget. 

In a new ad that will run this month on digital platforms and television, the coalition says that infrastructure projects will drive the state’s economic recovery,  creating thousands of jobs. 

To quote from the ad, “If Albany wants to bring our economy back, lawmakers need to invest in infrastructure.”

Mike Elmendorf, President of Rebuild New York Now, said of the campaign’s launch: “The pandemic has hit New Yorkers hard, but we’ve faced adversity before, and we know how to recover from it. This campaign reminds lawmakers that rebuilding local roads and bridges is the best way to move our pandemic-ravaged economy forward. We’re New Yorkers, and we know how to rebuild.”

A recent report by TRIP, a national organization that researches transportation-related data, found 47% of local and state-maintained roads in New York are in poor or mediocre condition due to inadequate state and local funding. The same report found these poorly maintained roads cost the average New York driver $588 a year in “additional vehicle operating costs.” Statewide, this translates to $7.2 billion every year.

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